Google Ads Custom Columns Get Major Upgrades

Google Ads custom columns just got a whole lot more customizable. Launched in 2014, a custom column in Google Ads is a nifty feature that allows advertisers to display non-standard data directly in the web interface.

These custom columns have historically allowed advertisers to display column splits by conversion, device, and network. Now these columns become even more powerful.

custom column

A major visualization improvement within the web editor. The new features of custom columns are as follows:

  • Spreadsheet Functions
  • The ability to calculate and compare between date ranges
  • Options for referencing other custom columns in formulas
  • Filtering possibility for custom variables for conversions
  • Non-metric columns in formulas (e.g. ability to extract campaign names, budgets, etc.)
  • New column formats such as “Date”, “Text” and “True/False”
  • The ability to apply multiple filters to a formula

These additions are a huge win. They bring more critical and customizable data to a place where you can edit campaigns directly. This should save you a lot of time. You no longer need to switch from reporting to editing.

Google announced that new metrics and features for custom columns will be rolling out to accounts over the “coming weeks.”

Spreadsheet functions. The biggest change to custom columns is the addition of “functions”, which will produce a return value based primarily on parameter input. These are passed in parentheses after the function name and act similar to the options available in popular spreadsheet programs. From rounding numbers to combining text strings, these functions help organize content directly into Google Ads columns.

Calculation and comparison between date ranges. One of the most useful new filters allows for custom columns that average or compare over a period of time.

An example provided by Google demonstrates the ability to validate click data on a defined report day function while returning a true/false variable using this formula:

Clicks / report_days_count())>=100

This will give you the ability to set up columns to quickly diagnose which campaigns/adgroups are hitting specific metrics and goals for given time periods in the web interface.

Referencing other custom columns in a formula. This allows for the referencing of other custom columns to show more data at once. You can create a single custom column that could be referenced in a formula to extract even more data without duplicating the process.

Even minor upgrades are incredibly useful. Apart from new formulas and functions, additional upgrades save a lot of time. The ability to sort custom columns will help bring up critical items faster, and the non-metric data extraction will help those who like to see more data.

Custom columns will also have the ability to have multiple filters to a formula for even better segmentation.

Why we care. It’s a monumental gift to Google Ads advertisers everywhere. In a time when it seems like ad platforms are getting simpler, this upgrade bucks the trend. The possibility of creating powerful The formula-driven columns in the web editor interface are a seemingly constant barrage of unwanted zigzags. If you’ve gotten used to going back and forth between reports and editors, you can see a noticeable time saving with neatly organized columns.

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About the Author

Greg Finn is the Director of Marketing for North Cypress, a company that provides world-class social media and search marketing services as well as website and app development. He has worked in the internet marketing industry for over 10 years and specializes in digital marketing. You can also find Greg on Twitter (@gregfinn) or LinkedIn.

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